Washington, Oct 24 (EFE).- The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) estimates that the number of Latinos who will vote in November’s mid-term elections will increase 15 percent compared to 2014, reaching 7.8 million people.
“Latinos are ready to make their voices heard,” NALEO executive director Arturo Vargas said during the presentation of the report in Washington.
According to Vargas, the increase means that the turnout rate for Latinos in 2018 will be 28 percent, up slightly from 27 percent in 2014.
NALEO carries out weekly tracking with polling firm Latino Decisions to analyze the enthusiasm and problems faced by Latino voters.
According to the latest tracking poll, 71 percent of Latinos registered to vote are certain that they will cast a ballot next Nov. 6, while 12 percent will “probably” do so.
In addition, six of every 10 Latinos has encouraged friends or family members to register to vote.
The 435 seats of the US House of Representatives and more than a third of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs in November’s mid-term elections, as well as 30 governorships and hundreds of state and local government positions.
NALEO estimates that the increase in Latino voter participation will be particularly important in Arizona and California, with a 33.4 percent and 25 percent rise, respectively.
As for Florida and Texas, two other states with large Hispanic populations, Latino voter participation will increase 12.6 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, according to NALEO.
Despite these increases, Vargas said it was “unacceptable” that Latinos are once again “being ignored” by the political campaigns.
“It is time that our nation’s political parties and candidates put their money where their mouths are and invest in meaningful outreach efforts,” he said.
Nevertheless, NALEO highlights in its report that the number of Hispanic candidates has grown, both at the state and national levels.
For example, the number of Latinos in the House of Representatives could grow from 34 to 41 if candidates such as Sylvia Garcia, of Texas, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, win in November.
Vargas said Latino candidates are proving that they are able to win elections, acknowledging that the Democratic Party has made an effort to approach Latinos.